Cause and effect is one text structure or pattern of organization. Common Core State Standards require students to analyze text and identify common patterns of organization like cause and effect. In order to meet this goal, students need to study passages organized according to cause and effect. That is the goal of this page.
This page contains ten examples of nonfiction paragraphs using the cause and effect pattern of organization. By reviewing these examples, and completing the practice activities, students will be more comfortable with this reading skill. When students are able to generate their own paragraphs using the cause and effect pattern of organization, mastery will have occurred. I hope that this page helps students around the world achieve mastery with this skill.
10 Example Paragraphs of Cause and Effect
1. There are many theories about why the dinosaurs vanished from the planet. One theory that many people believe is that a gigantic meteorite smashed into the Earth. Scientists believe that the meteorite was very big and that the impact may have produced a large dust cloud that covered the Earth for many years. The dust cloud may have caused plants to not receive sunlight and the large plant eaters, or herbivores, may have died off, followed by the large meat eaters, or carnivores. This theory may or may not be true, but it is one explanation as to why these giant reptiles no longer inhabit the Earth.
2. Automation is the use of machines to reduce the need for human labor. In other words automation is when jobs done by people become jobs done by robots. Automation can be a good thing. Because of automation, clothing, cars, and other manufactured products are available at good prices and in large supply. But automation can also be a bad thing. Because of automation, there are over 700,000 robots in America alone that do jobs once performed by humans. The way of automation may not be best for humanity, but it is the course we are taking.
3. Have you ever wondered how mountain bikes can ride so smoothly on rough surfaces? The reason for this is that mountain bikes have suspension systems. Suspension systems keep the wheels in continuous contact with the ground. This improves control and insulates the rider from changes in the surface. Suspension systems also reduce vibrations and make the ride more comfortable. Just don’t get too comfortable and put your feet up because you still need those for peddling.
4. The surface of the Earth is divided into pieces called “tectonic plates.” These plates move. When the plates rub against each other, they do not move smoothly. When the plates do not move smoothly, earthquakes result. Some parts of the world get more earthquakes than other parts. The parts of the earth that get most earthquakes are near the edges of these plates.
5. A mute is an object that is fitted to the end of a brass instrument to change the instrument’s sound and tone. Mutes can be made from many materials but aluminum, brass, and copper are common. A mute works by changing the shape of the instrument and absorbing its acoustic vibrations. This causes the instrument to produce a sharp, damp sound. Mutes are often used in jazz music but sometimes they are called for in other compositions as well.
6. Thomas Edison became known as “The Wizard of Menlo Park” in 1877, when he invented the phonograph. Edison’s phonograph allowed people to record sounds and replay them. Though this technology was unimpressive by today’s standards—his recordings would only play few times and the sound quality was poor— back then Edison’s device appeared to be magical. That’s why people called Edison “The Wizard of Menlo Park,” because they suspected him of witchcraft.
7. Have you ever had an ice-cream headache? That’s when a painful sensation resonates in your head after eating something cold (usually ice-cream) on a hot day. This pain is produced by the dilation of a nerve center in the roof of your mouth. The nerve center is overreacting to the cold by trying to heat your brain. Ice-cream headaches have turned many smiles to frowns.
8. Under no circumstances will firecrackers be allowed in school. They are not educational and they are dangerous. Any student caught with firecrackers will receive a ten-day suspension. If you see any student possessing firecrackers, report them to the principal immediately or you will receive a suspension as well. Exercise good judgment or face the consequences. You have been warned. Now let’s have a great school year.
9. Look down at your feet. Are you wearing shoes? Why? People wear shoes many reasons. The first and most important reason is to protect their feet. Shoes keep people from hurting their feet while walking on rough surfaces, but this isn’t the only reason why people wear shoes. Some people wear special shoes that are designed to help them play a game, like bowling shoes or soccer cleats. Some people wear expensive designer shoes so that they appear fashionable and feel good about themselves. And a lot of other people like my dad wear shoes so that their feet won’t stink up the room.
10. Being involved in after school sports and clubs is not a right. It is a privilege. Therefore, students have to meet eligibility requirements. If students have any “D”s or “F”s, they are not allowed to play. Also, if students have behavior issues in class, they cannot be on the team or in the club. Lastly, students need to keep good attendance. If students miss school, they most certainly cannot come to practice. Being on a team is a lot of responsibility. If students are not proving to be responsible, they will not be permitted to be in clubs or teams
I hope these example paragraphs help. Check out these other great cause and effect and text structure resources:
Looking for Something Else?
Cause and Effect
Patterns of Organization
Text Structure Worksheets
Text Structure Activities